Gel is a staple product of The Curly Girl Method, but finding the best one for your hair can be a challenge.
And of course, half the battle is just finding gels that are Curly Girl Approved. This list has you covered!
If you’re searching for the perfect curly girl gel, here are 25 to consider:
This page does contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something using the product links on this page, I may get a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps keep this site running. Thank you!
Also, I follow the simplified version of the Curly Girl Method most directly derived from the Curly Girl Handbook. This means the only ingredients I look to avoid are sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohols. If you have more ingredients that you look to avoid, it would be a good idea to check the ingredients for yourself before making a purchase.
1. Eco Style Olive Oil, Argon Oil, etc
2. Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Hair Gel
3. Tresemme Mega Sculpting Gel
4. Biotera Styling Defining Gel
5. Fruit of the Earth Aloe Gel
6. Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Gel
7. Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel
8. Kinky Curly Curling Custard
10. Cantu for Natural Hair Moisturizing Twist and Lock Gel
11. Garnier Fructis Curl Treat Jelly
13. The Mane Choice Crystal Orchid Biotin Infused Styling Gel
14. Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Original Gel
16. Curls Goddess Glaze Curl Gel
17. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle Gel (and other Shea Moisture Gels)
18. Herbal Essence Totally Twisted and Set Me Up Gels
19. Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Styling Gel
20. CurlMix Pure Homemade Flaxseed Watermelon and Lavender Gels
21. Design Essentials Natural Honey Curl Forming Custard
22. Curly Curl Gello Conditioning and Hydrating Gel
23. CurlSmith Curl Defining Styling Souffle
You can check ANY gel to see if it’s curly girl approved at Is It CG?
Need a Curly Girl Approved conditioner? Check out this list!
For more curly girl products, check out this post: Curly Girl Beginner Products.
Looking for more guidance on your curly hair journey?
If you’re new to curly hair care and looking for some help, you should check out the No-Stress Guide to Curly Hair Care!
After spending two years learning and caring for my curly hair, I wanted to create my own, in-depth guide to help fellow curlies create incredible curls in the easiest way possible.
It took me a while, but I eventually found an approach that helped me create a curly hair routine that fits into my life in the simplest way possible. And now I want to help you do the same!
For more intermediate/advanced guidance
If you’ve been on your curly hair journey for a while but still have some struggles, check out Curly Hair Problems!
After spending hours scouring the internet looking for solutions to my own curly hair problems, I found myself wishing for an easier, more comprehensive guide to the most common problems.
So that’s what I created!
Curly Hair Problems offers you 78 total solutions to the five most common curly hair care problems, including frizz, curl clumps, limp curls, product issues, and scalp issues.
Sound off: What’s your favorite Curly Girl Gel? Tell us in the comments! And if I missed a favorite, leave that in the comments too! I’ll update the list. 🙂
The biosilk rock hard gelee definitely has silicones now. It’s not curly girl approved.
Thanks for your comment! I just double checked this based on the ingredient list Ulta proved (https://www.ulta.com/rock-hard-gellee?productId=xlsImpprod4730087) and it’s still coming up curly girl approved for me. I used isitcg.com and I looked over each ingredient myself. It all looks okay. Maybe it depends on where you get it from? At any rate, I swapped the link out so it goes to Ulta, since they have the ingredient list, as opposed to the previous Amazon link that didn’t. But I’ll definitely keep an eye on it!
Check out Rizos curls. She has a Instagram page, great product
Hey, thanks so much for adding to the list! ❤️
When I emailed the ouidad company they told me the heat and humidity gel had water soluble silicone. Does that still make it curly girl approved if it’s water soluble?
Yes! The non-curly girl approved silicones are not water soluble, and that’s why they need harsher sulfates to wash them out of your hair. The water soluble silicones can come out of your hair with water, a sulfate-free shampoo, or co-washing, which means they’re curly girl approved. 🙂
Anna heath says
I noticed none of them are a spray gel
Melody Aldrich says
I love Curl Smith In-Shower Styler. It’s given me the most bang for the buck.
Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!
What about Biolage Gelee? I love this gel
It looks like this has Isopropyl Alcohol in it which is a drying alcohol. So, this wouldn’t be curly girl approved. 🙁
I dye my hair (roots) every 3 – 4 weeks and swim in a chlorinated pool twice a week. I use a swim cap but my hair still gets wet. I live in Hawaii which is high humidity. All my life the women in my family have either very short hair or always tried to straighten our hair by drying it with a blow dryer and brush or drying it while in big rollers. I finally got tired of it all and decided to go curly. I like long hair and mine is about down to my bra strap. It is very dry and rarely curls nicely. I bought a soft jersey material cap to wear after washing. I was using Shea Moisture products, As I Am and Wen. I have Carol’s Daughter gel and Pantene Curl Defining Scrunching gel but my hair still comes out dry looking and frizzy. I was my hair twice a week (after swimming), use a conditioner from the brands mentioned above, then Shea Moisture Leave in Conditioner Smoothie, comb with wide tooth comb and put the cap on. Next morning I wet hair lightly, mix some Shea Moisture Leave in Strengthen & Restore Conditioner with one of the gels and rake through hair with fingers. Still don’t get nice curls and by the end of the day sometimes it is frizzed. Any recommendations?
Based on what you’ve shared here, I’m not sure if you’ve recently started the curly girl method, or just recently started wearing your hair curly. If your new to the curly girl method and your hair is still dry and frizzy, it’s likely that you’re not using enough conditioner when you wash. Since you’ve used heat to straighten your hair in the past, it’s very possible that your hair is pretty damaged and dried out. The more damaged your hair is, the more conditioner you’ll need and the longer it’ll take to get a good curl. (I talk more about this in the “rinse out” section of the How to Start the Curly Girl Method post). You also may want to think about deep conditioning once or twice a week. You can read more about deep conditioning here. If you want to check out my hair routine for some techniques and products I’ve found helpful, here’s the first one I shared when I was newer to the curly girl method and my hair was drier. (Though, you may need more conditioner than the amount I used.) And lastly, here’s a post on frizz control and the curly girl method. I hope some of these posts help!
You may be removing your hair’s natural curl when you comb it even with a wide-tooth comb and when you rake your product through. That’s what I was doing too, but when I stopped my curls clumped into pretty ringlets. I finger comb my hair as I condition in the shower, then I use praying hands or a scrunching method to apply my leave in conditioner and gel to soaking wet hair. I gently scrunch with a t-shirt and then I don’t touch it until my hair is dry.
you can also use a Denman brush to get those ringlets back after showering too
Yes! Thanks for adding that!